Floyd Mayweather Jr has ruled out a showdown with Manny Pacquiao unless his successor as pound-for-pound king agrees to smaller percentage of the purse. The unbeaten former welterweight champion Mayweather is set to return to the ring after a 21-month retirement when he fights Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Sept 19. Yet since Pacquiao scored a spectacular second-round knockout of England's Ricky Hatton, Mayweather's last victim, in Vegas on May 2, the clamour for the consensus best boxers on the planet to clash has been mounting. Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank believes the fight purse should be split 50-50 but Mayweather said he deserved a bigger share than his potential opponent.
"He wants a 50-50 split," Mayweather said of his former promoter Arum. "That's never going to happen. "If Bob Arum wasn't trying to be so greedy, that fight would happen. It still is a business even if it is a sport. "Marquez called me out and he deserves a shot. If Manny Pacquiao really wanted a fight with me, all he has to do is say it. "We could pay Marquez to step aside, a million dollars, step aside. Let me know. "With or without Pacquiao I'm comfortable. I don't chase opponents, they chase me."
Of his date with Marquez, postponed due to a rib injury picked up by the American in training, Mayweather said the Mexican had been the true winner of both of his fights with Pacquiao at featherweight in 2005 having knocked down the Filipino three times in the first round only to be given a draw by the judges, and at super-feather in 2008 on a split decision. "If I had to rate Marquez against Pacquiao I'd have to rate him over Manny," Mayweather said. "For a guy to get knocked down three times in the first round and come back and get a draw... We know who really lost. "And then we go to the other fight and Manny won by one point but these things happen. Marquez is a Mexican warrior and I know he's going to be at his best when he comes and faces me.
"So the only thing I've got to do is go out there and be me, be sharp and be smart." Both Marquez and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya backed claims by Mayweather that the American was still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, despite his inactivity in the ring. "Mayweather is the best," Marquez said. "He retired undefeated. When I fought Manny I thought I beat him both times." De La Hoya, beaten by Mayweather on a split decision in May 2007 and by Pacquiao by a stoppage after eight rounds last December, added: "I'd have to go with Floyd. "I felt more skill coming out of Mayweather than I did with Pacquiao. "The winner between Mayweather and Marquez will be the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet."
* PA Sport